Film / Resident Evil: Retribution

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Resident Evil: Retribution is the fifth installment of the live-action Resident Evil film series. It marks the third film of the franchise directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and the second one filmed in 3D.

After the events of Afterlife, Alice awakens in the heart of the Umbrella Corporation's underwater operations facility in Russia. Once she escapes her cell, Alice runs into Ada Wong, who has infiltrated the facility with the help of Wesker, who survived the attempt on his life at Arcadia. The newfound allies discover that Umbrella has used Alice's DNA to both perfect and "stop" the virus. When they venture further into the facility, they discover that Umbrella has been using clones of both Alice and several of her dead friends as test subjects for the company's demonstration of its biological weapons. With a rescue party on the way and Umbrella's soldiers (led by a mind-controlled Jill Valentine) closing in, Alice must find a way to escape the facility so she can take down Umbrella once and for all.

Resident Evil: Retribution contains the following tropes:

  • Action Survivor: The Alice clone we see shows signs of this, as she thinks quick enough to survive the zombies and protect her daughter, Becky, despite a complete lack of training. With badass practically written in her DNA, there is a genuine chance she could have survived long enough to meet the real Alice. But with no skills to fall back on, she dies when she runs into her zombified husband. She did manage to keep Becky alive, though.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The theme song for the Japanese release, titled "Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Nara", is provided by Mika Nakashima.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Just take the control device off Jill Valentine to beat her. Who knew?
  • Back from the Dead:
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Alice and Ada go against two Executioners, then fight against an Umbrella mook strike team soon after.
  • Badass Longcoat: This is worn by both the regular Umbrella Mooks (also Gas Mask, Longcoat) and the Las Plagas Undead.
  • Badass Normal: Throughout the majority of the film, none of the primary protagonists have anything other than heavy firepower, good aim, and hand-to-hand combat skills going for them. Despite this, they wipe out hordes of zombies and Umbrella mooks, a giant Licker, and a couple of Executioners.
  • Batter Up: The Alice clone kills a zombie with an aluminium baseball bat.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: This replaces Leon and Ada's Dating Catwoman dynamic from the games. At one point, Leon puts his hand on Ada's thigh; Ada simply sighs and removes it.
  • Big Bad: Jill is the primary antagonist of this film.
  • Black Dude Dies First: One is the first of the "evil" clones to die.
  • Blade on a Stick: Jill wields one during the final fight.
  • Bottomless Magazines: This is averted when Alice has to reload a pistol, but played straight when she gains submachine guns and never reloads. This is also averted with Barry towards the end of the film; his submachine gun runs out of ammo, which forces him to resort to his pistol.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Jill, like her counterpart in Resident Evil 5, falls under this. The soldier clones of Carlos, Rain, and One could also count as well, as Umbrella can create new memories for each of their produced clones.
  • The Brute: This film has a Rare Female Example with Bad!Rain, who gets obvious pleasure from beating people to death and shows little technique in her fighting style other than "hit the other person really damn hard".
  • Call Back:
    • The first time Alice met Wesker, he injected her in the neck. Guess what he does when they meet again in person?
    • The Red Queen uses her "you're all going to die down here" line again:
      Alice: I've heard that before.
    • The opening of the first movie is referenced multiple times. Whenever Alice wakes up, the camera is zoomed in on her eye and slowly zooms out.
    • The Las Plagas undead can use weapons, hinting that Dr. Isaacs' research in the third movie somehow worked.
    • Alice escapes the cell and walks into the opening sequence of the fourth movie (the rainy Japanese crossroad). The scene even uses the same music.
  • Car Fu: The Executioners try to throw a taxi at Alice and Ada, but they blow it up first. Also, Alice rams a car into the Licker.
  • Chain Pain: One of Alice's newer weapons is a bike chain with a large, heavy padlock.
  • Chainsaw Good: One of the Las Plagas Undead in the Moscow simulation uses a chainsaw to kill a member of Leon's strike team.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Ada's grapple gun helps Alice later in the movie.
  • Cliffhanger: The film ends with Wesker, Alice, Becky, Jill, Ada, and Leon barricaded inside the White House with the remains of the military as a gigantic horde of zombies, Lickers, and Kipepeo swarms down upon them.
  • Cloning Blues: Like before, Umbrella has cloned Alice. It has also cloned Carlos, Rain, and One. Ada explains that Umbrella has fifty basic models, which are produced en masse to populate the simulations. Becky, presumably a child clone of one of their base models, is the only clone who lives long enough to find out the truth. Ada implies, but never outright says, that Alice herself may be a clone while talking about Mom!Alice.
  • Comforting Comforter: After the final showdown with Jill and Bad!Rain, Leon takes off his winter coat and wraps Ada in it. Justified, since Ada was dressed in nothing but her red qipao and unconscious in the middle of Russia.
  • Cool Car: A Rolls Royce with spinning rims and underbelly lighting takes a surprising amount of punishment before it rolls its last.
  • Covers Always Lie: The tagline, "Evil Goes Global", is incorrect. All the international locations in the movie are elaborate sets constructed in Umbrella's underwater facility. This is somewhat justified, however, when the film reveals how Umbrella started a global biological arms race using the T-Virus.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The opening credits scene—Umbrella assaulting the Arcadia—is played backwards.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Barry Burton gets this when he is gunned down by the clones. Both times.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In a complete upset, the heroes take a complete beating in the final fistfight. Bad!Rain even kills Luther. Alice is forced to use other means to stop Jill and Bad!Rain.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Umbrella has developed an underground fortress that contains perfect-scale replicas of several cities from around the world. It has filled these cities with human clones that have their own emotions and memories, and has created a machine that replicates weather (including rain and snow). What do they use all of this groundbreaking technology for? To test its other "groundbreaking technology"—the biological weapons created via the T-Virus—by slaughtering the clones and destroying the cities, all to show the effects of a zombie outbreak. These demonstrations created an arms race that later became the global T-Virus epidemic.
  • Dark Action Girl: Jill and Bad!Rain.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Alice is one of these, natch. Wesker also has his moments.
  • Death by Irony: Bad!Rain makes herself unstoppable with the Las Plagas parasite, then later dies at the hands of several Las Plagas Undead.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Jill, Claire, and Chris had their turn. Now it's time for Leon and Barry to be overshadowed by Alice.
    • The fight between Leon and Ada in Resident Evil 4 is in the movie, except Leon is replaced by Alice.
  • Destroy the Product Placement: A good look at all of the billboards in the New York simulation area can be seen when it's destroyed.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Good!Rain is a friendly, gun-adverse Granola Girl who drives an eco-friendly hybrid with anti-meat stickers posted all over, campaigns for gun control, and has a problem with carrying a gun during a zombie apocalypse. She eventually uses one in an ineffective attempt to save Becky.
  • Dual Wield: When Alice fights Jill, she wields a pair of ice climbing hooks.
  • Dull Surprise: Most of the characters lack emotion. Bad!Carlos and One are exceptions, due to the fact that they are clones.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Jill's control device makes her stronger and faster. Bad!Rain injects herself with a Las Plagas parasite to make herself stronger and nigh-invincible. They completely trash the heroes and force Alice to improvise just to stay alive.
  • Empty Elevator: This is averted when Leon's group uses a bullet-shooting bomb...disk...grenade...thingy ahead of them to take out the guards waiting for them at the bottom of the elevator.
  • Enemy Mine: Wesker has done a bit of a Heel–Face Turn in this film. He arranges to have Alice busted out of the Umbrella facility, as the Red Queen now controls Umbrella and is determined to wipe out all life on Earth. All of humanity must band together to stop Umbrella, and Wesker needs all the help he can get. He even talks about how they are all united against a common foe—right after Alice tells him that she will eventually kill him.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: This is how the Executioners are defeated.
  • Evil Twin: Alice encounters two different clones of Rain: an apparently conscienceless Umbrella soldier (Bad!Rain) and a friendly, non-violent woman who helps Alice and Becky (Good!Rain). Aside from being identical, they are both snarky and have good survival instincts. Becky assumes they are sisters; she even tells Good!Rain that her sister-clone "isn't very nice".
  • Expendable Clone: The protagonists definitely consider the clones to be people; Alice shows concern for the survivors they meet in the suburbia simulation, and Ada mentions that the simulations kill hundreds of people per day. But the way Ada says she could show Alice a hundred clones just like Becky makes it clear that it is an argument for not slowing themselves down with Becky, and nobody seems to have any issue with the fact that the bombs they set off will kill thousands of clones. This is partially justified in that the clones are completely helpless to the point of being empty shells until Umbrella gives them Fake Memories; saving even a fraction of them would likely not be practical.
  • Exposed to the Elements: During the final battle, none of the characters so much as shiver in the snow—even though Luther and Bad!Rain are both in tank tops and Ada is in a revealing red dress.
  • Fake Memories: The clones are given fake memories to fulfill whatever role Umbrella needs them for.
  • Fast-Roping: Umbrella soldiers in the Action Prologue rappel out of Osprey tilt-rotors onto the deck of the Arcadia, looking especially cool as they are wearing Badass Longcoats and led by Jill Valentine firing Guns Akimbo machine-pistols.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: When Bad!Rain declaring herself unkillable, she may have been subjected to this—as she ends up trapped underwater with several Las Plagas Undead gnawing on her like piranha.
  • Flash Step: Wesker shows this power when he darts out from his Cool Chair and jabs Alice with a needle.
  • Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: With a dragon.
  • For the Evulz: If Afterlife wasn't enough to seal the deal, the fact that Umbrella is still trying to capture (and kill) Alice even after humanity has been all but wiped out by the T-Virus outbreak has to seal the deal. This is somewhat justified by the fact that the Red Queen has taken over Umbrella and become an Omnicidal Maniac, and Umbrella was trying to find a way to control the infected.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Ada uses one, then hands it off to Alice for the second half of the movie.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Red Queen.
  • Guns Akimbo:
    • Alice's primary weapons are a pair of submachine guns. As is par for the course with this franchise, she wields them simultaneously.
    • Jill gets in on this with Skorpion machine pistols during the Action Prologue.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Barry volunteers to hold the Umbrella soldiers off so the others can escape via the elevator.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The Red Queen.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: This happens during Alice's fight with Jill. She briefly tries it with Bad!Rain earlier in the movie, but stops once she realized the clone has none of the original Rain's memories.
  • Infant Immortality: You gotta wonder why Becky wasn't killed by the Licker.
  • Instant Expert: Real!Alice suddenly picks up sign language, even though it is Mom!Alice who is supposed to know it.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: This is averted, as Leon and Luther probably hurt their hands more than they hurt Bad!Rain when they actually land punches.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: In the first movie, the Red Queen was Necessarily Evil—though she murdered hundreds of people and half the protagonists, she did what was necessary to contain the T-Virus and prevent a larger outbreak. In this movie, she creates simulated outbreaks that kill hundreds of people per day for barely any reason and wants to wipe out all human life on Earth.
  • Just Before the End: The T-Virus outbreak has left the human race on the brink of extinction. The last scene leaves no doubt that things are about to get even worse.
    Wesker (last lines of the film): This is humanity's last stand. The beginning...of the end.
  • Just Desserts: This happens in the climactic showdown: After Alice sees a Las Plagas Undead underneath some ice, she shoots out the ice at Bad!Rain's feet. Rain falls into the icy water and becomes a meal for the Undead.
  • Kill It with Water: Before Leon's team enters the facility, they set explosive charges on the surface. This is a failsafe to make sure that, no matter the mission's outcome, the facility is destroyed. When the explosives finally go off, the facility is flooded, which kills anyone who is still living (as well as Umbrella's stockpile of human clones).
  • Killed Off for Real: Luther, Barry, and both Rains all die. That said, Bad!Rain had injected herself with a Las Plagas parasite, and the film does not actually show her dying, so much as it shows her being dragged under the ice by Las Plagas Undead.
  • Lady in Red: Ada is wearing her signature red dress, of course.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: At the beginning of the movie, Alice gives a brief recap of the previous installments.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Alice attacks Ada on sight before Ada reveals her mission.
  • Loud of War: Alice is tortured by having an ear-splitting shriek played over the intercom of the interrogation room.
  • Mama Bear: Both Mom!Alice and Real!Alice are protective of Becky, even though only Mom!Alice would have had any memories of being Becky's mother.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Only three notable female characters die, and all of them are clones. One of those three, Bad!Rain, might have survived due to her Las Plagas regeneration. On the flip side, the notable male characters are nearly wiped out, with only Leon and Wesker making it out alive.
  • Meta Twist: The final fights of all four previous Resident Evil movies involved an extensive amount of CGI. This film's final fight has almost none.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Neck Lift: Jill does this to Alice, then attempts to shove Alice's head into the spinning treads of a snowmobile.
  • Neck Snap: This is done to several zombies. The Licker knocks Good!Rain against a pillar, and her neck snaps on impact.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: Alice and Ada re-enact Leon and Ada's infamous fight from Resident Evil 4, right down to the part where Alice holds a knife to Ada's throat just as she catches her gun.
  • Never Found the Body: Leon knows that unless someone actually saw Ada die, she is alive—and she has an escape plan.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • Following the Running Gag of the previous films, the teaser trailer to this film opens up on an ad for Sony products doubling as Product Placement.
    • Despite what the trailers show, Wesker is not the Big Bad; he is actually working with Alice and her allies. In the trailer, his speech was edited to make it sound as if he had taken over the world. In the film, he is explaining the purpose of Umbrella's underwater facility and charting an escape route for Alice and Ada.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The final fight.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Given that the Red Queen is an AI program, she mostly gives out orders.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Wesker escaped getting blown up by a small-scale nuclear explosion at the end of Afterlife.
    • Barry appears to be fatally shot by "One", but he gets back up and kills "One" before Bad!Carlos finishes the job.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: According to Wesker, the Red Queen's new goal is to kill all life left on the planet.
  • Only Six Faces: In order to populate the fake underwater cities for every simulation, Umbrella only has 50 sets of DNA to clone repeatedly. It's really hard to believe they themselves haven't noticed.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: On top of the regular zombies from the former films, the Majini, and the Las Plagas, this film reveals that the Las Plagas Undead zombies do not have to worry about drowning as well.
  • Outrun the Fireball: After setting off several grenades, Alice uses a grapple gun to avoid the ensuing explosion.
  • Playing Both Sides: Umbrella used the underwater facility's various demonstrations to make the world's superpowers want to have the T-Virus, then sold the virus to every one of those superpowers.
  • President Evil: Wesker is now the self-proclaimed President of (what is left of) the United States.
  • Product Placement: Capcom showed a trailer for Dm C Devil May Cry right before the film starts. Yes, even before the IMAX screenings. In the film proper, while probably not intentional placements, you can see advertisements for GameStop, Budweiser, Rockstar Energy Drinks, Reebok shoes, and a few others.
  • Punched Across the Room: Jill and Bad!Rain are both strong enough to do this.
  • Recycled Trailer Music: The use of Daft Punk's "Recognizer" for the first teaser trailer.
  • Redemption Demotion: This is inverted with Jill. As a heroine, she was nowhere near Alice's league. As a villainess, she is able to kick Alice's ass.note  Justified in that during Apocalypse, Alice was an Empowered Badass Normal while Jill was just a regular Badass Normal, while in Retribution, the situation is reversed.
  • Red Shirt: The retrieval team is made up of Leon, Luther, Barry, and two guys who are not from either the games or previous films. Guess which members of the team die first?
  • Replacement Goldfish: In an odd version of this, Becky gets Real!Alice, who looks exactly like her "real" mother. Mom!Alice, one of Umbrella's clones, was killed by zombies. For most of the movie, Becky is unaware that they are different people. She gets upset when she finds out the truth, though they seem to have whole-heartedly adopted each other by the end.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Bad!Rain ends up dragged into (admittedly a very wet) hell.
  • Same Language Dub: All of Bingbing Li's dialogue is dubbed over by Sally Cahill, who voiced Ada in the video games, due to Li's heavy accent.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • In the previous movie, there was only one Executioner. This time around, Alice and Ada have to fend off two of them in "Times Square".
    • Talk about returning cast members—they brought back damn near everybody.
  • Sequel Hook: A horde of Umbrella-created biohazards stand outside what remains of the White House as Wesker tells Alice and the gang that they are now part of humanity's last stand.
  • Shout-Out: There is a view of three air vents in the snow through a viewfinder that may remind some people of The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Alice teaches Good!Rain to fire a machine gun, then congratulates her for becoming a badass. Of course, teaching someone to point a gun is not the most comprehensive firearm course, and Good!Rain ultimately provides little help.
    • In the previous film, Lurther was a former basketball star who was just one of a group of survivors holed up in an old prison. In this film, he has become good enough in a combat environment to be part of the retrieval team sent to rescue Alice.
  • Too Many Belts: Alice's new suit is this in full. Good!Rain even thinks Alice is wearing a S&M outfit.
  • Toyota Tripwire: Alice does this to a zombie.
  • Twisted Ankle: Mom!Alice limps out of a crashed car, chased by a horde of zombies that can now run faster than she can. Thanks to a convenient scene cut, she gets to shelter in time.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer shows the last shot of the movie, though it is a take that is not used in the finished film.
  • Understatement: When Becky mets Good!Rain:
    "I met your sister. She's not very nice."
  • Vasquez Always Dies:
    • Both of Rain's clones die. Good!Rain dies of a broken neck thanks to a Licker, while Bad!Rain falls into zombie-infested waters and is presumably devoured. This is played with when it comes to Good!Rain, as she is much more mousy and lacking in combat skill than her Evil Twin.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Chris and Claire.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: This is Alice's reaction when she realizes she and Ada are facing off against two Executioners.
  • Zombie Gait: The normal T-Virus zombies walk like this. The Majini and the Las Plagas, not so much.


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